How to Save Programs Recorded on a DVR to a Computer

By John Csiszar

Digital video recorders (DVRs) can be programmed to record any show you select. One of the main features of a DVR is the ability to transfer any recorded show to an external device, such as your home computer, for storage. You can do this easily by using video software and a simple connection between your DVR and your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Video transfer software
  • USB cable (if not wireless)
  • RCA connector (if not wireless)

Step 1

Check for space on your computer. Digital video files are typically quite large, so you may consider buying an additional external hard drive for your computer system if you will be transferring more than a couple of recordings.

Step 2

Install video transfer software. To watch movies on your computer, you need software to capture the video and convert it to a playable format. Some basic video software is available for free download on the Internet, but you can buy most sophisticated versions at computer or electronics stores.

Step 3

Connect your DVR to your computer. You can do this in a number of ways depending on the configuration of your system. The most modern connection is over your wireless Internet network at home. If your DVR is a TiVo, you can download its video software and transfer recordings wirelessly. Other computer setups may require the use of a standard USB cable, which you can connect directly from the USB port of your DVR to any available USB port on your home computer. This connection configuration is most often used with laptop computers. For desktop computers, particularly older models, you may need a three-pronged audio-visual cable, known as an RCA connector. For this configuration, connect the yellow end of the RCA cable with the "video out" jack on your DVR, and plug the corresponding end into the "video in" jack on your computer. The red and white ends of the cable are used for the audio connections on your machines, and should be plugged into the corresponding jacks, which are usually color-coded.

Step 4

Prepare your computer for transfer. Open your video capture software, and designate a folder or device to receive your recording. Double-check the capacity of your folder or drive before you initiate the transfer.

Step 5

Start your transfer. Select the program you wish to transfer from your DVR and press "play." At the same time, press "record" on your computer, or follow the specific instructions of your video software to initiate a recording. Monitor the progress of the transfer, and check for quality when it is finished.